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US Army awards $88 million contract to combat IEDs with same processor that’s in latest iPhone

MRAP in low light (DOD)
October 26, 2017

The U.S. Army awarded General Micro Systems an $88 million contract for systems to help combat the threat of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) against its Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles.

MRAPs have seven unclassified sensors that process a tremendous amount of information. The GMS systems process, refine and distribute that information to several monitors through the vehicle.

MRAP Convoy (Department of Defense)

“The MVD system uses the most powerful processing technology available to keep our soldiers safe,” GMS CEO Ben Sharfi said.


MDV Diagram (GMS)

Embedded technology deployed in demanding military environments such as these mine-protection vehicles needed to withstand extreme temperatures, vibration, shock and dust; be reliable, as soldiers’ lives depend on it; and be sustainable for long-life programs. The technology should also be adaptable to other Army programs with minimal redesign.

In the case of GMS’s new S402-LC/SW server and display system, the company’s long-standing relationship with Intel benefited the Army with the latest high-performance Intel processor – the same one Apple is using in its latest 2017 Pro-series products.

As a result, the Army is now deploying leading-edge technology in an ideal form factor that is designed for the very rugged battlefield. It also enables the extremely demanding “heads down” driving this application required, which is based on cameras and sensors outside the vehicle transmitting images to the soldiers inside in near real-time – almost as if they were looking directly outside.

Older technology simply couldn’t process video images fast enough or clearly enough. It could be described as one of the most realistic video games ever. As much so that it needs the absolute latest, greatest computing technology—because lives depend upon it.

In order to add longevity to the technology and save taxpayers money, the system is also designed to be modular so that things like the processor can be upgraded to the next latest-greatest without having to design and buy a whole new system. Compared to other bids, the GMS tech saved tax payers $60 million.